The Herald reports:
People buying a spa will no longer need to worry about fencing it off under a law change.
A lockable cover will be sufficient protection under legislation that has passed its first reading today with cross-party support.
The Government has also backed away from lowering the depth at which pools need to be fenced after public backlash against the idea that paddling pools would be covered.
The new legislation will replace the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, which significantly cut the number of children aged up to four who drowned in home swimming pools.
Such drownings decreased from 100 in the ten-year period before the measures were introduced, to 30 in the 10 years to 2012.
However, the Government said the regulations were inconsistent and “often cumbersome”, and changes were needed.
These will include:
• No longer requiring spas and hot tubs to be fenced off if they have a lockable cover and meet certain specifications.
• Require councils across the country to carry out five-yearly inspections of swimming pools.
• Make infringement notices the preferred way to deal with pool owners who fail to comply, with court prosecutions only in serious breaches.
Good to see common sense winning the day here.
The current law allows spa owners in Auckland to apply for an exemption from fencing if their spa has a lockable cover – but that costs $455.
What a rort.
The law change is expected to improve safety, but also reduce compliance costs by $17 million, Mr Foss said.